Psychologists’ Student Loan Forgiveness and Repayment

As a psychologist, you’re probably well aware of the adverse effects that financial stress may have on your mental health. Maybe you’re experiencing it as well: According to the American Psychological Association, psychologists with doctor of psychology (Psy.D.) degrees graduate with a median debt burden of $200,000, while those with doctor of philosophy (Ph.D.) degrees finish with a median debt load of $75,000.

According to PaydayNow researchers, “There are many programs available to assist you in managing your student loan debt, including loan forgiveness and more affordable monthly payments. Other organizations will provide you with money to help you pay off your debts as quickly as possible.

Consider national loan forgiveness schemes for psychologists:

Public Service Loan Forgiveness Scheme (PSLF)

The Public Service Loan Forgiveness Scheme (PSLF) is a government-sponsored loan forgiveness program

The Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) program may cancel federal student debts for persons working full-time in an eligible organization. Workplaces that are eligible include:

  • Organizations in the federal, state, and municipal government
  • Nonprofits with a 501(c)3 status
  • Nonprofit groups that aren’t classified as 501(c)3 but fulfill other public service standards
  • Peace Corps or AmeriCorps

The government forgives your remaining amount under PSLF if you make 120 eligible monthly payments on your loans (which don’t have to be consecutive but must have begun as of October 2007, when the program started).

If you want to use this option, make sure you have qualified loans and found a No Third Party here, which may need to combine some of your debts into a straight consolidation loan. You must also enroll in one of the four income-driven repayment plans available via this program. You won’t have any loan amount to forgive if you adhere to the typical 10-year repayment schedule, for example.

Loan repayment support from the National Health Service Corps

After only two years, the National Health Service Corps (NHSC) gives financing help. You must work in an identified high-need, underserved region for two years to be eligible. Qualifying facilities may be found in urban and rural areas across the United States.

To be eligible, you must meet the following criteria:

  • a citizen or national of the United States
  • A Medicare, Medicaid, or State Children’s Health Insurance Program provider or qualifying provider
  • In the state, a licensed and practicing mental or behavioral health professional.
  • Having debt from a degree-related student loan

NHSC may be able to provide you with up to $50,000 to help you repay your debts after you’ve completed your service.

Loan payback schemes at the National Institutes of Health

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) has a loan program for psychologists working on research projects. You must hold a qualifying degree (such as a Ph.D. or Psy.D.) and be willing to work for at least two years in a recognized organization doing authorized research. If you qualify, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) may be able to reimburse you up to $50,000 each year.

Loan Repayment Program for Indian Health Services

The Indian Health Services program pays up to $40,000 to qualifying behavioral health professionals to help them pay off their education loans. Contracts may be extended annually until all eligible debt is paid off, and you must agree to work for at least two years at a health institution that serves American Indian or Alaska Native communities.

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